Disclosure of the Crown's Case Against You
The starting point in the defence of any criminal proceeding in Canada, including a Youth Criminal Justice Act proceeding, is disclosure. It is also the starting point for an informed guilty plea or informed extra-judicial measures, alternative measure, or diversion. You should never agree to a guilty plea or extra-judicial measures UNLESS YOU ALREADY HAVE DISCLOSURE AND HAVE THOROUGHLY DISCUSSED IT FACE-TO-FACE with a lawyer.
By the time of first appearance, the police and the local Case Management Office (the liaison between police and Crown) should have made copies of the police notes, witness statements, evidence notices, video or wriien statements and confessions, and other paperwork from the Crown's brief on your case. When you get these documents and perhaps DVD please do not fold, roll, or crush the disclosure. It needs to be studied carefully by your lawyer. If you do not yet have a lawyer, it needs to be reviewed by duty counsel on every Court attendance. Please bring it to Court on every attendance up to the point when you hand it over to the lawyer you have retained.
Your lawyer may make a request for additional disclosure of items that are missing from the primary brief disclosure. If some disclosure is still missing, your lawyer may need to bring a Charter of Rights application under Charter sections 7 and 11(d) for a Court order for disclosure or production.